By Thomas Benton
Although my Dad, a skilled fisherman, took me with him many times as I was growing up, I never became much of a fisherman. I enjoyed catching the fish, but all the waiting bored me terribly. And, then there was the messy job of cleaning the catch!
As a teenager, I remember going to the Ochlocknee River with other kids and stringing a trotline (also called a setline) across it to catch catfish. This "foray" lasted all night while the trotlines were "tended".
For those of you who may not know, a trotline is a heavy cord with multiple fishing lines strung from it. Each of the individual fishing lines can have one or more baited hooks for fishing at various depths. The trotline is then strung across a stream, lake or pond. Tending the trotline consists of periodically removing the caught fish and re-baiting the hooks.
These principles of trotline fishing can be applied to internet marketing. We're talking about developing multiple streams of income here.
As with a trotline, you're going after a particular breed of fish - your niche market.
Many hooks make for many opportunities to catch fish. If you're banking on one product or service you've greatly reduced your income potential. Increase the opportunity to make sales by expanding your product line.
Fish come in different sizes so the hooks and bait need to be sized as well. If you want only big fish, use only big hooks and large bait. If you want to attract various sizes, use assorted sizes of hooks and bait. Are you offering something to both the budget-minded and big spenders?
If you offer infoproducts, your customers are likely to have different levels of knowledge or be at different stages of the learning process. Do you offer products or services to suit all their wants?
It can be difficult to have a product of your own for each sub-niche within your main niche. Conversely, it is usually easy to locate a few reseller or affiliate products/services to complement your own. Devote the time necessary to develop a full line of products and services. Find out what your customer wants. Search until you find it. Then present it to them in an attractive package.
The bait must appeal to the fish or they'll never take the bait. You must "package" your products in a way that appeals to your customers. This usually means touting the benefits of owning your product. Learn to do it well and back it up with a free trial or money back guarantee.
Finally, tend that trotline! If your bait isn't attracting any fish, change the bait ... rewrite your copy, rename your product, etc. Take care of the fish that you've already caught ... stay in touch with your customers. Send out a newsletter, bulletin, or special discount offers. Move your trotline ... try different methods of advertising, advertise in a different vehicle, etc.
Apply the trotline principle to all of your internet marketing efforts and reap the benefits of a bigger catch. Enjoy your success, then take a break ... GO FISHIN'!
Thomas Benton is the author of "How to Build a Magnetic Web Site: Accelerated Basic Training for the Internet Entrepreneur". Learn more about Tom's unique web design strategies at http://www.webdesignwisdom.com